Ethics in Engineering

Ethics in Engineering

In carrying out ASME's charge to promote a
high level of ethical practice within our
membership and the engineering
profession, the following resources and
real cases of challenging ethical concerns are

We invite you to explore and debate these issues and resources. Please send any questions or comments related to this subject.


• ASME maintains its own Code of Ethics of Engineers as one of its Society Policies.

• ASME has issued Criteria for the Interpretation of the Fundamental Canons that are contained in the Code of Ethics.

The ASME Technology & Society Division maintains a committee on Ethics & Technology.

• A web-based module called "Ethics for Engineers: Doing the Right Thing When No One is Looking" has been developed.

• The National Institute for Engineering Ethics released its latest contribution to teaching professional ethics in engineering. A 30-minute movie, Henry's Daughters, follows the ethical conflicts of three family members working on a smart highway design project. The characters face ethical issues such as conflicts of interest, sexual harassment, intellectual property, and individual privacy. They disagree over the tradeoffs between technical performance, safety, reliability, and cost and discover how political and social factors can influence technical decisions. In recognition of its $5,000 contribution toward the development of Henry's Daughters, ASME received five copies of the DVD. If an ASME unit would like to borrow one, e-mail the request to

• A Guide to Teachers on Engineering Ethics is available.

• The National Institute for Engineering Ethics at Texas Tech University presents The Applied Engineering Ethics Case of the Month Club & Program.  The focus of this program is to present real situations taken from professional practice in order to stimulate greater emphasis on ethical issues, and to hopefully allow our visitors an opportunity to avoid similar pitfalls in their own careers.  ASME provides a direct liaison to NIEE.

Additional Resources

The Online Ethics Center for Engineering & Science


University of British Columbia Center for Applied Ethics

Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions - Illinois Institute of Technology

Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism - Texas Tech

Ethics Toolkit - American College of Healthcare Executives